DMERT Group set to launch complex rehab certification

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Friday, June 22, 2018

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Durable Medical Equipment Repair and Training Group (DMERT Group) plans to launch a Level 2 certification for repair technicians for complex rehab technology in August.

The group, a collaboration between U.S. Rehab, VGM Education and FIOS DME Repair Training, already offers a Level 1 certification for basic DME like canes, crutches, walkers, scooters, standard Group 2 wheelchairs, beds, lift chairs and standard manual wheelchairs.

“(Level 2) dives into the individuality of specific equipment, like electronics on an Invacare chair or electronics on a Permobil chair,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab and secretary of the DMERT Group’s executive oversight board. “We don’t have to teach the principles of tilt more than once, but there’s a unique aspect to how, for example, different shears work for recline or tilt.”

The DMERT Group launched its certification program in May, with the goal of not only making training repair technicians more efficient, but also advancing the profession.

Traditionally, repair training happens onsite with various manufacturers, but this program happens in one place: online, Packer says.
“It’s hard on all of our members to send their techs out all the time to get trained and keep up on all the equipment out there,” he said. “We believe online learning is a great modality, if it’s done right.”

The DMERT Group is in the process of becoming accredited as a certifying body and its courses already meet standards set by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians—two things that go a long way toward validating the work of repair technicians, Packer says.

“We’ve made a significant investment to become a certifying body, but we thought it was worth it to pull the industry into it,” he said. “Patients deserve to have a quality piece of equipment.”

The DMERT Group, a nonprofit, offers the certification at a significant discount to VGM and U.S. Rehab members: The training bundle, for example, is $750 retail, $550 for VGM members and $200 for U.S. Rehab members.

“(Van Miller) wanted this industry to be prosperous for the small independent provider and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Packer said. “We don’t want Bill down the street to do the same thing you do. We want you to be a certified technical repair center.”